How often do you check your tyres? Looking after your tyre’s is important, they keep us on track?
Anyone who’s experienced a blow out especially at speed or whilst crawling a tricky track will confirm it’s a shock. With the initial fright from the loud bang as the tyre bursts and before there is time to think you’re wrestling with the steering wheel to hold your truck on course, slow down and find a place to stop.
Sweaty palms are putting it mildly. It’s a relief to realise the thing that’s suddenly affected your steering, braking and balance is just a tyre failure. It doesn’t take long to check your rubber boots so add it to your checklist after engine oil and other fluids.
Tyre condition doesn’t need any fancy equipment just look at the rubber. Confirm it’s not cracking, are there any slashes, cuts or bulges in your tyre, any screws, objects sticking into the rubber, if so, then it’s time to replace them urgently.
Tyre tread depth will need a depth gauge. If you don’t have a one then you’ll need a UK 20 pence piece. The minimum legal requirement is a depth of 1.6mm of tread over the central 3/4 of your tyre, which must be around the entire circumference. A UK 20 pence piece has a border of 1.6mm so if you can see any of the coins rim when placed in the tread the tyres is illegal but more importantly unsafe. If your tyre is wearing on an edge only then get your wheels tracking checked out at a garage. Uneven tyre wear could also be warning that a ball joint, wheel bearings or springs are in need of attention. Tyres that wear only in the middle are over inflated. Either way prevention is far cheaper and safer, and it’s not worth the risk or extra costs from failure.
Tyre pressure is the last item on the checklist, have you the right amount of air for the task at hand? Most vehicles have tyre pressure recommendations on the inside of a doorpost or in the cars handbook. Most decent foot pumps and electric tyre compressors include a tyre pressure gauge so you can check and inflate if needed. Remember there will be different air requirements for different tasks. If you are towing, carrying heavy loads or about to hit loose ground your tyres pressure will need to be adjusted. Airing down is always recommended for rock traversing. To release air from a tyre, simply push the middle of the exposed valve until desired pressure is achieved. Always replace the tyre valve cap to prevent any grit or dirt getting in and deflating the tyre accidently, you don’t want to loose a tyre off the rim if you’re out on a track in the middle of nowhere. Carrying a tyre repair kit is also an option if you are heading out to the sticks …